Chowdown Happy Hour Tonight (5/3) at Zare at Fly Trap
Join Melanie, osho and me at Zare at Fly Trap tonight, May 3, to try out the cocktails and a Persian-influenced bar snacks menu that includes pistachio meatballs, kufteh tabrizi, and lavash with feta-walnut spread.
The address is 606 Folsom Street, cross is 2nd, so it's a quick jaunt from Montgomery Muni/BART station. We plan to arrive around 5 p.m. to grab a table and will hang out until 7ish; drop in (and out) as it suits your schedule.
If you join us, please report back on what you drank and ate in this thread.
Zare at Fly Trap
606 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Very nice atmosphere and a congenial group of Chowhounds. I arrived at 5 to see pane holding down the fort. Few people around at that time, but when I left at 6 the place was comfortably full and abuzz.
Since I left early, I did not get to sample all of the food, but everything I had was enjoyable. The arancini were great; crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. I also enjoyed the walnut paste on the flat bread. Other bites were good but not as memorable as the first two. I missed out on the eggplant and the brussels sprouts.
I liked how the experienced waitress sized me up as a lightweight in one glance as I ordered the absinthe drink psb had; she said doubtfully, "It's pretty strong." Even though I then immediately decided to change my order she offered to bring a sip of it over so I could say that I'd had absinthe. She brought a small taste of the drink and it definitely packed a punch.
I had the same drink as Windy; I've never met a Pimm's No 1 drink I did not like and this one didn't disappoint. "Refreshing but not especially alcoholic" could be my bar-hopping credo.
Good place for a drink and a bite and evidently lots of other people agree.
Hola, this is my 'better late than never' followup on ZARE HAPPY HOUR.
Looking at the online menus, I believe these are the food items we shared:
--$8: pistachio meatballs harissa-honey-pomegranate glaze
--$4: arancini/saffron risotto balls spicy marinara
--$5: french fries saffron aioli
--$5: feta/walnut, caspian tapenade with sourdough bread/lavash
--$13: maze plate/pickled baby vegetables + hot-smoked salmon + peppercorns
--$11: kashk bademjan: braised eggplant + yogurt/walnuts sauce + crispy onion
--$6: crispy brussel sprouts + persian yogurt tartar
Post-introductions, I began mulling over what cocktail to get.
THE GREEN MONSTER:
After being informed another member of the chow party was 'denied' the 'Absinthe Frappe, I figured 'someone has to get that'. It wasnt bad, but frankly the 'environment' called for one of the 'tall cooler' type cocktails [this meetup was during our 2 days of summer]. It was pretty strong. It also looked pretty in its shapely stemmed glass ... like a hovering green pear. Parenthetically, Melanie's drink was the most photogenic ... impressed with her cellphone picture. I do a fair amount of photography, but just cant 'grok' food photography.
EQUILIBRIUM OVER WISHFUL THINKING:
I felt like a cocktail but was quite temped to get a beer when the other folks told me 'all the beers are $3' ... I'd have felt like I'd discovered a loophole in the laws of nature if 'St Bernardus Abt 12' could possibly be $3, and said "that's like a if that beer is actually $3 ... well, there will be 'problems' ...". Anyway, the staff confirmed that was not a $3 option, so no 'arbeertrage' or George Soros type attack on their beer supply in the offing.
I spent a long time sipping the Absinthe drink, so never got around to ordering the Blanche de Chambly endorsed by Osho ... I am a big fan of that style of beer on a hot day. Besides, the other HH beer option was Anchor Steam Liberty Ale, which I disklike. BTW, the BdC is by the same people who make your friend's favorite, Fin du Monde. If we do another Beer and Kebab event, we cab cross compare a few more of these, say Blanche de Namur, Blanche de Bruxelles etc.
MEATBALLS: Good, but dunno if I'm on board with price/perf (although overall cost of the food was very reasonable). The pom glaze was very good and went well with other things ... dip fries, and with the sourdough once the tapenades ran low.
ARANCINI: You know, I've come to realize I dont like anancini as much as I thought I would. I'd have thought starch + cheese = happy, but I prefer it in the form of mac-n-cheese. Or when it comes to a functionally similar dish, I've liked say the various croquettes I've had in tapas type places more. That being said, these were pretty good arancini. Price was right and split quantity was right for me.
FRIES: I said I'd be the apologist for the fries ... but I like any half way decent fries as long as there is something good to dip into to ... aioli, pom sauce from meatballs. Anchor&Hope and various other comparable places have better HH fries. Inadequate volume of aioli provided.
BREAD & SPREAD: The caspian tapenade was good. I liked the sourdough, but I really wouldnt recommend this item. It's the kind of thing you could probably assemble at home to some extent (although maybe not the caspian tapenade).
GOLD PLATED MEZE PLATE: If the meze plate really was $13, I dont think this was a good deal ... although maybe the smoked salmon was an expensive/prestige ingredient. My WTP for this would be about $8.
EGGPLANT: This was great. If I had seen the menu listing walnut-yogurt sauce, I'd have probably demurred for fear it would be to walnutty [ever since this meal in Antalya of peppers, chips and gobs of walnut sauce, I've had a fear fear of ruining an otherwise good items with a 'too walnutty sauce'. I can still taste the shells from that meal from the summer of 2009.
SPROUTS DE BRUXELLES: These were the awesome. Cooked just to the optimal point for me. I am a big fan of tartar sauce and of yogurt, so this sauce was a favorite too.
Enjoyed meeting and re-meeting folks.
Pane: thanks for organizing.
Bummer - if I had known about this event sooner, I would've made it there (Zare is less than two blocks from my workplace; couldn't re-arrange my prior commitments, however)
Nevertheless, glad to hear reports back - if nothing else, it sounds like there's another option for me and/or my co-workers for happy hour and a target for an early dinner.
JoJo, the advance announcements for chowdowns in SF are emailed to members of this yahoogroups list,
Then "pane" has been posting a note to the board the day of the meet-up as a reminder and to notify others who might not subscribe to the list.
Hope to see you soon.
Great pleasure to make a return trip to Zare at Fly Trap for drinks and snacks after a terrific first dinner in January. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758744#6516159
I had the Fly Trap Martini: gin ~ sour grapes ~ cherry tomato ~ persian pickle (photo).
Props for the vegetable components.
My earlier outing I'd tried the Persian breakfast cocktail, made with vodka, bergamot honey, egg white, and lemon. Frothy and zesty, it tastes like a fanciful and very adult lemonade.
Foodwise, I was a little surprised to like the meatballs so well, as they were glazed with the same pomegranate reduction as the duck fesenjoon that had been too sticky sweet for me before. The meatballs hit a different balance point that was more interesting to me. I'll join the chorus that the arancini were a very good version, more cheesey, and better quality rice.
Zare at Fly Trap
606 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
I really enjoyed this. Cocktails were okay; my mint medley was refreshing but not especially alcoholic. I liked the sip of absinthe cocktail. Wine was better.
My favorite bites were the exemplary arancini, pistachio meatballs (esp the pomegranate glaze), and roasted eggplant with fresh fried onions. Fries and flatbread were okay, but didn't really show off the kitchen's strengths.
Less a cocktail destination than a great place to eat and drink; I'll be back for a real meal.
Friendly service, even if the bussers were a bit overzealous. Good acoustics too, for a date or catching up with a friend without having to shout.
Co-sign on the arancini, meatballs and braised eggplant with yogurt. The happy hour beers were a good deal -- $3 for a Unibroue Blanche de Chambly; the other choice was Anchor Steam Liberty Ale. My Persian Breakfast Cocktail (vodka, honey, egg white, lemon) reminded me why I don't drink vodka--too flat across the palate, without much body from the egg white.
I'd return for beer or wine and small plates--the two ten-seat tables up by the windows and the slightly off-the-beaten-path location make this a more congenial happy hour destination than the usual hectic FiDi scene.
I really wish I could have eaten! I did nibble on the fries, nothing special there I’ve got to say.
It was a bit of a warm day and all I wanted was a light lager (all right, a couple) and the Unibroue Blanche de Chambly was this fantastic Belgian style Witbier, albeit from Quebec.
Definitely had some orange and some flowery notes to it. Maybe other ‘hounds can comment.
In fact I quite liked it, surprising - I am usually a dark ale and IPA man.
I had a sip of the Absinthe cocktail and I found it a little one note (to quote psb). I will definitely be back to try the food items - they looked really good.
All in all, a very elegant destination for happy hour.